The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Digital Media Studio class to take “Are We Live?” to Paris, France on four-week trip

3 min read

Students on the trip will spend four weeks in Paris, France | Svetlana Gumerova, Unsplash


Staff Writer

The Digital Media Studio class, taught by Cartland Berge, director of UMW’s Digital Knowledge Center, will send enrolled students on a four-week trip to Paris, France, this summer. While there, students will plan, write, produce and stream live video programming each week, focusing on stories about their experiences.

The course includes one week of online classes to learn the basics of digital media production. Students will learn a variety of technology skills, including those relating to live media productions and web streaming. They will then apply them throughout their four weeks abroad, from July 1 to 31. 

While in Paris, students will stay in shared dormitories at Cité Universitaire. They will explore the city, which is a ten-minute metro ride from their accommodations, and act as writers, cinematographers and performers. They will record videos for the course’s weekly show “Are We Live?” The show can be found at, along with previous seasons. 

Students will also experience French culture by being exposed first-hand to the language, food, music, art and fashion. These experiences are set to enhance the course in a way that would be impossible if the class was entirely taught at UMW. 

“I am really excited about being there for Bastille day again and getting the chance to explore the city on my own,” said Brianna Kenealy, a sophomore undecided major. “Oh and of course the food!”

Berge also said that he has a long list of cities he would like to take his class to in the future, including Tokyo, Rome and Barcelona. He decided to start with Paris, however, since he is already familiar with the city. 

“I love Paris!” said Berge. “I’ve visited the city several times facilitating other study abroad classes and there are still things I haven’t gotten a chance to see.” 

The class is offered every spring and is open to all UMW students, regardless of major or minor. Each week, the students prepare skits ahead of time while others work behind the scenes to make sure everything goes smoothly.

“I did not expect the class to be so much fun,” said Reese Kubricki, a junior communication and digital studies major who is taking the class this semester. “I came in just thinking it was editing and filming YouTube videos. As we went to the media studio and got to practice, I learned that I love being on camera. Plus, Cartland is the coolest teacher ever.”

Jamie Keller, a senior communication and digital studies major, chose this class in the hopes of learning skills to apply to their own YouTube channel.

“Being in digital media is a little different from what I was expecting initially,” said Keller. “After the first few classes, I realized it would be more like Saturday Night Live in terms of structure.”

Before coming to UMW, Berge worked for 10 years doing live production in New York City, Baltimore and Washington D.C. He has taught the class for the past five years here at UMW, but this is the first year he is doing it as a summer study abroad class. 

“Teaching this class each spring is one of the greatest joys of my job!” said Berge. “Bringing together a live production is such a unique, intensely collaborative experience, and I love that I can share that experience with students who otherwise might never get the opportunity.”

Season five of “Are We Live?” starts Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. Students can also join in person for the filming of the season finale in the Hurley Convergence Center Digital Auditorium on April 18.